Top retailers earn top rating for LGBT equality policies

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — Office Depot, Apple, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Limited Brands, Nordstrom, Sears, Staples and Target were among a record 252 businesses on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index.

The top retailers earned the top rating of 100% as well as the recognition of being among the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” A decade ago, in the HRC’s first index, only 13 businesses earned a 100% rating.

The CEI rates companies on 40 policies and practices that contribute to equality in the workplace. To achieve a perfect score and the distinction of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality, businesses must offer fully inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate organizational LGBT competency, evidence the company’s commitment to equality publicly and exercise responsible citizenship.

“Corporate America continues to raise the bar in workplace fairness,” said HRC president Chad Griffin.

“We are truly honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality for the second year in a row,” said Michael Allison, EVP of human resources for Office Depot. “The fact that Office Depot achieved a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for two consecutive years is a testament to our commitment to providing equal rights, benefits and opportunities to all of our associates. We believe that supporting diversity in the workplace is imperative to running a successful business and employing excellent talent.”

Current Office Depot policies and practices include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual expression or identity; offering partner health insurance and equal health coverage for transgender individuals; and diversity training covering sexual orientation.

“LGBT-inclusive workplace policies, such as those in place at Office Depot, are not only the right thing to do and good business practices, they are the new normal,” added Griffin.

“We value all of our employees at Barnes & Noble, and are extremely proud to once again be recognized for creating an inclusive business environment and for providing our LGBT employees with expanded and competitive benefits,” said Michelle Smith, VP of human resources for Barnes & Noble. “At Barnes & Noble, we’re committed to our core values and to treating everyone with respect and dignity. Whether in-store, online or digital, the Barnes & Noble experience is special thanks to our passionate employees who are committed to embracing diversity of ideas and people. This award is as reflective of our people and the communities we serve as it is our policies.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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